2022 MBB Outlook: Chico Carter Jr.
As South Carolina fans anxiously await to find out who will fill the last two MBB roster spots for 2022, Gamecock Scoop will preview each player and the possibilities for the upcoming season.
The first player in this series is Chico Carter Jr., a guard originally out of Columbia, South Carolina. Carter played high school ball at Cardinal Newman and transferred to Carolina from Murray State after the 2020-2021 season.
Carter may turn out to be the player who benefits the most from a coaching change. He’ll likely have the green light to shoot in coach Lamont Paris’ offense and will have the opportunity to score plenty of points. After averaging 12.7 points per game and an average of 24.1 minutes during his last season at Murray State, Carter struggled to see consistent playing time for Carolina. His averages dropped to 4.2 points per game in 9.5 minutes of action for the 2021-2022 season.
Carter is better suited as an off-guard and is competent when not expected to facilitate the offense. In the last two seasons, his assists per game were nearly on par with his turnovers per game. Carter has the quickness to beat a considerable amount of defenders off the dribble and can get to the rim. He doesn’t always finish once arriving there, but attacking the basket will force the defense to rotate and help. In that scenario, if Carter can draw the foul or drop the ball off to a post player for an easy score, he will assist in the offense’s production.
Carter’s strength is shooting the basketball, as he’s an excellent 3-point shooter who is currently averaging nearly 42% for his career. On top of that, he’s clutch at the free-throw line, burying nearly 84% of his attempts. The downside is Carter doesn’t get to the free-throw line often and will need to make a more concerted effort to get there in 2022.
Defensively is where Carter has struggled. The previous staff put a premium on defense which is one reason why Carter consistently struggled to see the floor. It remains to be seen how much emphasis coach Paris places on defense and how long his leash will be when it comes to playing through defensive mistakes.
Where players land in the plus/minus category will be of utmost importance in coach Paris’ first year, as there will be little room for error with the way the roster is currently constructed. If Carter can regain his scoring average from his time at Murray State, and not give up the same amount of points on defense, he’ll land in the positive category and give coach Paris a solid and reliable option for the upcoming season.